Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Spectrum is making me look good

     UPS Man came by super-late last night and delivered a couple frames fresh from Spectrum Powder Works.  These are the first batch that they have coated for me and I'm really pleased with how they came out.  Hopefully I'll have some shots of these two built up in the near future.  The road bike has a carbon fork liquid painted to match the frame that came out really well.



    This was the first thing I built when I moved into the "new" shop a couple months ago.  Can you believe that it's time to move the shop again already?  Yeah, well it's true, unfortunately.  Shawver Cycles is going a bit further down the Peninsula to even greener and less leak-prone pastures (ask me sometime about how much material and tooling has turned into a pile of rust in this shop...).  This will probably even be a good excuse to have some kind of "launch party".  I'm more than a little out of the loop but cyclists still like beer, right?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lugs and Fillets and Mexican Blankets

I built this one quite a (relatively) long while ago and sorta forgot about it while it was off for paint.  Looking at the fillets motivates me to bust out the brazing torch and let the welder rest for a couple days.  It also reminds me that a nice custom steel fork will always be hotter than an off-the-shelf carbon job.

They say that white is the hardest color for a builder of fillet bikes to pull off.  I think I got away with it, if only by the skin of my teeth.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Been Lazy

Still working hard in the shop, but I gave myself a three day weekend to "compete" in an alleycat and catch up on a little beer drinking.  Before I took off on Friday I built this one:

Fixed gear for my fifteen year old brother.  Not really a track bike at 73*/73*, but it should still be hot-to-trot for cruisin' around town and causing trouble.  Makes the BMX bike I was riding at his age look like a toy.

I also just caved-in and ordered an Anvil fork fixture, so the lugged fork I'm going to build for this one should be my best yet.  Would it be "too much" to put a disc brake on the front?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Single Speed CX

This one's another SSCX, mostly Dedacciai with a little Columbus.

No housing stop in back because this puppy is designed with V-brakes in mind.  Lowrise seatstays 'cuz that is my pleasure.  I want to come up with a really "stand-out" color scheme to do on a few of these SSCX bikes so that people maybe start to recognize them out and about and get interested.  Maybe magenta with cyan logos?  Suggestions?

Saturday, November 6, 2010


The Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships are going to be in San Francisco next year, so I'll hopefully be building a bunch of these things for people to race on.  This one has clearances for huge 29er tires and fairly laid-back geometry.  Up next I'm building another SSCX with really light tubing and straighter stays then after that perhaps another SSCX with all the rack and fender braze-ons for someone to commute on.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hopefully this scores me some points

It was time to mix it up a little bit and build a bike for a normal-sized human being.  This one is going to my novia and it's her first road bike.  If the speed with which she tears around town on her beat up track bike is any indication, she's going to be fast as hell on this one.

I'm quite fond of doing the low-rise fastback seatstays, I might try and sneak this style onto as many of my road bikes as I can.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Submitted for your approval

Keeping this one for myself.  I don't own a shop scale, but this one feels way light for how much bike it is. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Things are happening

Started this today, the first bike being done in the new shop and with my new welder, a 29er with a mix of Columbus, Dedacciai and True Temper .  The machine is working great and the shop's perfect when the roof's not leaking right above boxes of tubing.

I want to build more TIG mountain bikes, but everyone seems to be talking lugged road bikes.  I have another set of tubes here that would be perfect for a racey 29er.  Email me if a MTB be what ye seek and I can probably build you one for a really good price.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New shop and an old-school fork

The lack of updates around here over the last few weeks is no reflection of the amount of energy that has been going into Shawver Cycles.  The whole shop has been transplanted down to South San Francisco and the process of turning my garage hobby into a business is a bit more complicated than I would have assumed, but all of that junk is starting to wrap-up and I am beginning to be able to concentrate on building bikes again.

Today I did the clean-up work on this MTB fork.  Well, I call it a MTB fork because the crown is Kirk Pacenti's version of the old Grant Peterson-designed Bridgestone lugged mountain fork that the MB-1 had before they went unicrown, but this one is actually going on a cyclocross bike.  I brazed it together almost three weeks ago but today was my first chance to throw it in the vise and finish the thing.  It looks like I didn't do much to it, but these crowns are actually cast with a big flat section (to make it easier to drill for a fender or maybe just ease of casting?  I can't imagine using a caliper brake on one of these) right in the center that throws off the graceful curved lines, so it had to be filed off.  I'd like to build with this crown again, so if your vintage mountain bike needs a replacement fork send me an email and let me put one together for you. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

¡Producto Acabado!

I know I have posted these two frames a billion and one times, but I just wanted to throw up these photos that Ube put up on his blog.  Finished product.  I'm proud to see my name on these bikes, now it's time to build a few thousand more.

¡QuĂ© bonita!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cyclocross and a New Camera Make for a Great Blog Post

These things look way nicer when they're not filtered through a cellphone camera, huh?  

That super-extendo headtube belongs to a cyclocross bike I'm cleaning up now and I have a serious crush on the design of the frameset.  Can't wait to finish it and get some more pictures up here, but I have a ton of other shop-related-but-not-actually-building stuff that needs to be done that eats into bikes in a big way.  It should be all smoothed out and streamlined soon and these things will be moving through the shop even more efficiently.

And cyclocross season kicks off at Fort Ord this Sunday!  If you read this blog (do people actually do that?) and see me there, says "what's up".  I'll be racing on this mean machine (the first thing I ever built).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Purple Crit Bike Back From Coaters and Off to Ube

This thing's pretty handsome, the purple looks way nicer in person.  Dropped it and the blue one from below off @ Ube's Icecream Shop to get decals applied and a nice layer of clear.  Dude has a cool set-up out in the Sunset and looks like he's getting a lot of rad stuff done.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Found these in the mailbox today.  Going to get 'em on some bikes next week, hopefully.  Now I need to order some for super-gigantor 29er downtubes.

My first 1 1/8th" steerer fork.  I'm happy with how this fork came out, it's the nicest of the four nearly identical ones that I've recently built.  Nevertheless, I'm not doing this style again for a long while.  Time for more interesting stuff.

Monday, August 30, 2010

3/4 Fillet Road Bike.

I'm trying to stay creative with the blog titles...  Stainless BB and fillets the rest of the way around.  Building a lugged fork for it tomorrow.

Miller Blue

Same color as the welder.  Get it?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More of the same, but way different.

I just finished a large road frame and am starting work on a large road frame tomorrow.  See the pattern?  Ohh well, nothing to complain about though. 

 I'm glad to have this one ready to go to the powder coater.  I built this quite a long time ago and for awhile I had sorta thought that it was just going to rust away to nothing, but now it's going to be ridden by a fast rider that is articulate and thoughtful enough to give me some really useful feedback that I can use to make the bikes that are yet-to-come even better.

Speaking of bikes getting better, the BB30 standard seems to be a real improvement over the 38mm shells that have been used for generations, at least to some degree.  I'm mostly excited about it because the larger shell area should give me a place to attach some gigantor chainstays to stiffen up the tallish bikes I have the tendency to make lots of.

On a final note, I've got a birthday coming up next month and I asked for a camera, so these might be among the last of my terribly blurry iPhone shots.  Or so we can hope.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

TIG welding and other delights.

I spent the last two weeks up at a trade school in southern Oregon learning to TIG weld bike frames.  This frame represents not just my introduction to welding frames, but really my first attempt at welding anything.  It made me glad to be back in my own shop with my Oxyacetylene torch, but soon as I can afford it I'm going to score a TIG machine of my own.

I built it up a little slacker in the HT than I would normally consider and am going to pair it with a low rake Wound-Up 'cross fork.  My brother is going to be racing on this thing.

My welds still have room to improve, obviously, but I really like the process, especially how relatively clean it is compared to brazing.

Went with a slightly sloping TT, 1x10 braze-ons and clearance for 34s.  Should be perfect for racing Northern California cyclocross, but may be a little tight for super-PDX-muddy racing.  I doubt we'll make it up there this season anyhow.

I was sort of kicking myself for including an unfinished picture of this frame in my last post, but I was eager to show it and didn't have a finished shot on that computer.  Here is how it turned out with the fillet finished and the loose ends tied up.  This thing has some really steep geometry for a road bike and is more of an experiment than anything else.  We'll see, but I have a feeling that it will be fun.

Both of these frames are going to Greg, will be rocking Wound-Up forks and will probably be powder coated to match.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First post, ya heard?

So, I've been building bike frames for about 10 months now and am coming to realize that maybe I should start showing people some photos of what I've been up to...  My skills are still coming along, but I'm beginning to get a handle on at least some portion of the process of designing and building a steel bicycle that is fun to ride and, hopefully, up to the task of winning a race or two.

Here's a few examples of the doo-doo I do do:

Fillet brazed extended ST sprint frame.

Pretty HT with a a mix of joining methods.

The frame said HT belongs to.  I build this for my brother and never got around to getting it painted for him...  Sorry Greg.

The ass of my first cyclocross frame.

Here's the same frameset mocked up with some random parts.  Don't ask me why I took an amazingly crooked photo of it with that weird cockpit...  I have no idea.

Road bike I built for myself and never built up.  Paul Sadoff says that builders only do the super-low fastback stays after they jack up their miter, but I swear that in this case it was to plan (or maybe a combo of planning and only having dropouts on-hand that dictate the angle to you...)  This photo is pre- any sort of clean-up or finishing and not an example of a completed piece of work.

I can doo-doo a fork too.  This is a straight-blade example, but I've got a nice bender for doing-up all sorts of other styles as well.

On a final note, I realize that "Carl Shawver Cycles" is possibly the most boring name ever bestowed upon anything, but I had to call this blog something.  Rest assured that if I ever get around to selling a frame it will be called something cooler (assuming that my brain is up to the challenge of dreaming up anything better.)